Michael B. Jordan Apologizes After Accusations of Cultural Appropriation

Michael B. Jordan has apologized after he faced backlash over the launch of his upcoming line of [...]

Michael B. Jordan has apologized after he faced backlash over the launch of his upcoming line of rums. The rum brand was set to be called J'Ouvert, which is borrowed from the phrase that signals the start of Carnival in the Caribbean, though after receiving accusations of cultural appropriation, the Black Panther actor announced in a formal apology that the line would be renamed.

Jordan made his apology via a post to his Instagram Story, which began, "I just wanna say on behalf of myself & my partners, our intention was never to offend or hurt a culture (we love & respect) & hoped to celebrate & shine a positive light on." After receiving the backlash, the actor said the "last few days has been a lot of listening" and "a lot of learning & engaging in countless community conversations." He assured his followers that "we hear you" before he went on to reveal that "we are in the process of renaming." The actor ended his note by writing, "We sincerely apologize & look forward to introducing a brand we can all be proud of."

Jordan found himself in the midst of controversy after he launched his rum brand earlier this month under the name J'Ouvert. The name was borrowed from the celebration of Caribbean culture held as part of Carnival in many Caribbean islands. Jordan had also filed a trademark filing that claimed the word J'Ouvert had "no meaning in a foreign language."

Rapper Nicki Minaj, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago, publicly put Jordan on blast. In a social media post, she said that while she was "sure MBJ didn't intentionally do anything he thought Caribbean ppl would find offensive," he should "change the name & continue to flourish & prosper" after being made aware of the controversy. A Change.org petition was also created to "stop Michael B Jordan's trademark of J'Ouvert for his rum!" That petition noted that the "word J'Ouvert is deeply rooted in Trinbagonian and Caribbean culture" and said, "we're not a powerless people! We are a people rich in culture, history and love. It's time we love ourselves enough to stop the sale of our culture to foreign entities that do not respect or value our global contributions, and who do not support and uphold our countries in respectful, long-lasting, tangible and verifiable ways!" The petition requested that the trademark filing be dismissed and that Jordan "do the right thing by calling this a loss!" The petition received more than 14,000 signatures. At this time, Jordan has not announced the new name for his rum brand.